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Using big data and predictive risk analysis, Pula is helping 4.4m farmers to boost yields, get insurance to protect their livelihoods against environmental hazards.

Krijn De Nood is the Dutch co-founder and CEO at cell-based meat startup Meatable, the first to claim a highly scalable culture technology with the use of pluripotent stem cells, where he has worked since 2018. He previously worked at McKinsey for six-and-a-half years in Amsterdam, New York and in Kenya. Prior to that, he worked as an equity derivatives trader at derivative trading company All Options after a short stint at Barclays Capital.De Nood holds two first degrees from the University of Amsterdam, in philosophy and in economics and finance. 

A graduate with a master’s in Management and Business Strategy from the ESSEC Business School Paris, Nathanael Faibis had worked for two years as a project manager in France, Kenya and Morocco for a pharmaceutical market research company Sanisphere. In 2012, he worked for Lazada in Vietnam and Indonesia before becoming the head of production and user experience of Lazada Southeast Asia. However, he left Lazada in March 2013 to rejoin Sanisphere in Jakarta as the country head and global head of data management. Finally in April 2014, he decided to set up an Indonesian health portal Alodokter.

Founded in 1999, TLCOM Capital now has offices in Kenya, Nigeria and the UK. Originally a global VC investor, its key investment objective now is to tackle Africa’s greatest challenges via its TIDE Africa Fund that was established in 2017.Total funding to date stands at $300m and investments range from $500,000 to $10m.  It currently has 12 portfolio companies and has managed 13 exits. Recent investments include the $6m Series A round of Kenyan agro-focused insurtech PULA and the $7.5m Series A round of Nigerian edtech uLesson Education.

Norfund is the sovereign investment fund of Norway, established by the parliament in 1997 and owned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The company has committed NOK 28.4bn in investments into 170 projects in developing countries as of 2020. Norfund has regional offices in Thailand, Costa Rica, Kenya, Mozambique and Ghana to support its activities in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In Asia, its core investment targets are Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Norfund primarily invests in three key areas: clean energy, agriculture and fintech. The fund has invested in solar power projects and various food companies in India and various African countries. In Asia, Norfund has invested in Amartha, an Indonesian P2P lending fintech company providing loans to women-led microbusinesses. Norfund also invests in other venture funds, such as Southeast Asia-focused Openspace Ventures Fund III, to expand and diversify their portfolio.

Co-founded by Fabrice Grinder, a French tech entrepreneur and former consultant at McKinsey & Company, FJ Labs is a New York-based VC firm focused on online marketplaces. Co-founder Jose Marin is based in London. With the mantra “Entrepreneurs funding entrepreneurs,” FJ Labs does not take board seats. It has backed over 500 entrepreneurs, built over 20 companies and managed dozens of exits.To date, 58% of its investment portfolio companies are based in the US and Canada (mostly the US), 25% in Europe, 6% in Brazil, 2% in India and 9% in other countries. The VC is also increasing its presence in Brazil and India, as well as looking at smaller markets in Columbia, Algeria and Kenya. FJ Labs currently has 488 active investments, mainly at seed and pre-seed level, typically investing $390,000 at seed level and $220,000 at pre-seed level. Recent investments in August 2021 include participation in the $8m Series A round of Brazilian corporate benefits marketplace Caju and the $23m funding round of Nigerian vehicle marketplace and financing startup Moove.

Dutch-born Rosa Goslinga has spent most of her career working in Africa and speaks five languages, including Swahili. She graduated in business, economics and international development at the University of Amsterdam in 2004. She also completed a master’s in political economy of development at the School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London in 2005.In 2006, she worked as an economist at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda where she realized there was an urgent need for small-scale farming insurance to protect the local farmers’ livelihoods against natural hazards.In 2008, she joined Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) in Kenya, where she initiated a pilot Kilimo Salama in Nairobi as program director. The program was a success, starting with 185 farmers taking up index insurance and growing to be the largest in Africa with over 185,000 participants. Goslinga also met and started working with Thomas Njeru, the lead actuary for UAP Insurance for the Kilimo project.In 2013, with investors backing her project, she developed and patented a system and method for providing a site-related weather insurance contract. She left SFSA in 2014 and went on to set up Kenya’s pioneering insurtech Pula with Njeru as co-founder in 2015.Both are now co-CEOs of the Nairobi-based startup, education and helping over 4m small-scale farmers to protect their livelihoods from environmental hazards with tailor-made micro-finance and insurance products.

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